Sunday, 19 February 2017

A La Ronde - Devon

You would be forgiven for thinking A La Ronde means that this is a round house. In fact, if you are someone who doesn't mind being backed into a corner, this is the house for you because it has 16 sides.

The Parminster family were wealthy and local to the area for at least 400 years. Circumstances three Jane and Mary Parminster together and they embarked on the Grand Tour. By the time they returned they had bonded so well together that they decided to build a house to suit their particular needs.

The two ladies designed A La Ronde. Work began in 1795 and the house was completed a year later. It is not the only oddity in the area, as the nearby Point-in-View church will testify.

The ladies stipulated that the house should pass down the distaff side of the family, and in particular to unmarried ladies of the family. This requirement was adhered to until 1886 when the house passed to the Rev Oswald Reichal. His actions would not have received approval. He made many changes that would have appalled Jane and Mary.

Eventually the house passed to the National Trust and, to their credit, they set about changing the house back to what the ladies had intended. This is a charming little oddity with some unusual attractions.



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